This profile was prepared when Coco Mousa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1994.
The New Idea
CoCo Mousa founded Cameroon's first society, as he puts it, "of blind people, for blind people"The Club of the Blind for Rehabilitation in Cameroon.Noting that prevailing social attitudes discourage blind people from anything but the most humble ambitions, such as begging or the most repetitive work, the Club's first task is to encourage, motivate and train them to start and manage their own businesses, often collectively. The Club itself is the original business, owned and operated collectively by any blind person who pays dues and participates.The Club's second mission is to educate society about the potential of the blind community to contribute to society, as well as the specific ways in which the sighted community can interact with the blind more positively. The education mission of the society also includes blindness prevention, an important activity in Cameroon where a significant proportion of blindness is preventable. As a noted songwriter, musician and singer, CoCo is particularly effective at using his talents as an entertainer to raise public awareness.